Photo: Searchlight Pictures

The best films to watch in the UK this March 2021

Nomadland, plus Netflix's News of the World
January 26, 2021

News of the World, Netflix, 29th January

Director Paul Greengrass reunites with Tom Hanks, but trades the sinewy tension of their last collaboration, Captain Phillips, for a more pensive portrait of America in crisis. Hanks plays a Civil War veteran and itinerant news man who finds himself escorting an orphaned 10-year-old girl across a country still raw from conflict. The film adheres to the conventions of the Western genre—including a clumsy handling of Native American cultures—but the superb acting sparks life into a picture which touches on timely themes, not least America’s testy relationship with news media.

Slalom, Curzon Home Cinema, 12th February

The pursuit of sporting excellence, in this case downhill skiing, is a minefield for any vulnerable youngster. But for 15-year-old Lyz (Noée Abita), a newcomer at an elite mountain school, the pressure she places on herself is increasingly tied to the approval of her strict, charismatic coach (Jérémie Renier). The coach, however, doesn’t have her best interests at heart. This chilly but accomplished first feature makes for an uncomfortable watch, as Lyz’s life snowballs out of control.

Nomadland, In cinemas 19th March

Following the economic collapse of her community and the death of her husband, Fern (Frances McDormand, above) opts to travel the American West in a kitted-out van, eking out a living from seasonal work. Chloé Zhao’s follow-up to The Rider is a remarkable film: profoundly moving and deeply empathetic, it is storytelling that takes the time to listen, deftly weaving in the tales of the real life modern-day nomads who appear as themselves alongside McDormand.